Kid Mechanix Summer Camp 
Kid Mechanix

Kid Mechanix offers an integrated social skills camp for children who do best in small group settings with consistent scheduling and guidelines. Working closely with First Foundations Children’s Academy, we cater to individuals with and without communication delays, autism, anxiety, ADHD, and/or behavioural challenges.

Kid Mechanix summer camp is for campers who want to build their social skills, gain confidence and have a summer of laughs and fond memories. All camp activities are uniquely crafted to teach skills, build confidence and improve self-esteem. We achieve this by carefully structuring all of our activities to ensure success.  Skilled instructors break tasks down into manageable components to meet individualized needs. A 1:2 and 1:3 staff-to-student ratio ensures your child receives the attention he or she requires to thrive.

Summer camp will be offered for children ages 2-6 years out of our Vaughan Location at 1076 Rutherford Road.

Camp Funding

SSAH funds (see the Financials page) can be used to offset camp fees. Parks and Recreation offers a "welcome policy" that subsidizes the cost of their programs: contact your Adapted and Integrated Services coordinator for details.

The Toronto Star Fresh Air Fund provides financial support for children to attend summer camp programs. Applications must be made by December 31st by the camps, not the families. Toronto Star: 416-869-4847,

The Reach for the Rainbow program helps children with special needs attend regular day camps, with the help of an aide (parents pay for the aide). See their web site.


Planning for Camp

When exploring a camp for your child or youth with ASD, some things to consider:

* integration vs. special needs only camps - what would best suit your child? if your child needs a more supportive environment for the moment, perhaps you can "try out" integration camps over a few summers
* day camps vs residential camps - again, it may take some time building up to residential camp - some camps offer a way to try residential settings for just a weekend or a few days
* planning for the future - look for camp experiences that offer a potential long-term experience for your child - always be looking forward
* give your child a break - our kids need challenges, and we need to plan for the future, but every child deserves at least some of the summer where the challenges are a little less and they can just relax and be themselves 

Preparing Camp for Your Child

When you have a camp booked, prepare a "getting to know my kid" package for the camp and any workers involved. Profile your child, identifying their likes and dislikes, their communication style, and other items. Identify potentially difficult situations and how to handle them. Keep it simple, reassuring, and direct. If appropriate, ask for reporting on your child's day at camp (a simple visual list of the possible activities, with the ones your child took part in circled, might do). If you have a chance to meet with a camp worker in advance, focus on the most important issues rather than overwhelming them with details. Encourage open communication - make yourself available.

Preparing Your Child for Camp

* visit the camp and/or their web site
* prepare a personalized book for your child with photos from camp
* read books or watch movies or TV shows that involve summer camps similar to the one(s) your child will attend
* provide a visual schedule/daily planner for your child to use - an inexpensive 5 x 7" photo holder is perfect for this - insert index cards showing (in words and pictures) possible activities - the format allows for changing the order if necessary

Finding Camp Helpers
If your child needs help to attend camp, speak to a recreation therapist, occupation therapist or social worker at your local children's treatment centre. Visit to find support workers through the CHAP program. Students or volunteers may be available through community colleges or agencies such as Extend-A-Family.

Special Camps
An excellent way to locate a camp is through the Ontario Camping Association's web site, which lets you search for a camp based on a wide variety of criteria. Check out their web site: has a listing of summer camps on their web site.
Publications such as Exceptional Familiy magazine (, Abilities magazine ( and Active Living magazine ( often provide articles and sections on summer camp.
The Sara Elizabeth Centre (Blue Veil Ministry) in Etobicoke offers a summer camp for ages  18+ with a physical or developmental disability. Camp located at Kipling and Westway, Operates 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. This is an arts-oriented camp. For more information, visit their web site (, email, or call 416-747 -9796.
Muki Baum runs a children's day program.

Family Camp Program at the Kinark Outdoor Centre

Parenting a child with autism is uniquely challenging and very demanding. The Kinark Outdoor Centre, with its skilled professional staff and specialized facilities, supports children with autism and their families with life changing camp experiences. Kinark Outdoor Centre - Providing Outdoor Education, Skill Development and Adventure-Based Programming since 1985.

CLICK HERE to see the flyer

Camp Listing
Some Ontario camps that offer services specifically for individuals with ASD are:

*Children Development Group (CDG)
CDG and Autism Ontario are happy to announce their summer programs. In the hopes of servicing our young adult/teens, we are happy to announce our first 'Vocational Program' (for teens and young adults, July-9-August 08, 2013, Tuesday-Thursday 9.00-3.00 ) along with our regular Social programs (for younger kids, July 22-July 26, 2013  and August 12-16, 2013, Monday-Friday 9.00-3.00).

We are happy to announce that the Toronto Chapter will once again be providing a $200 / family subsidy to Toronto Chapter members so that our children can participate upcoming and very popular Summer Program provided by CDG. We will also provide a $200 / family subsidy for TORONTO Chapter members who participate in our newly designed Vocational Program.
Not a member, no problem….become a member upon registration to take advantage of the subsidy.
If you have never participated in a CDG program, you will have to contact CDG for intake information.

Click here to see the poster


*Summer Camp at Allegro Academy of Music and Arts.

The summer camp will serve children with autism from July 5th to August 20th. This is a daily 3.5 hr program in which parents will have the option to sign up their children for as many weeks as they would like their children to attend.

The program will continue focusing on individualized targets as we understand that each child is unique. The children’s targets will be reviewed and revised as needed.

Our curriculum will target skills across different domains, such understanding of language (receptive), language/sign production (expressive), vocalization (sound production that is a prerequisite for language to emerge), self help, social interaction (through play, sitting in groups, turn taking, peer interaction, just to mention a few), fine and gross motor and academics.

This is an innovative program in which children will also explore music and participate in musical activities that will allow them to vocal imitate, follow teacher’s instruction in a group setting, and focus their attention to directed activities. Children will be exposed to various musical instruments and taught how to properly manipulate them. During the last two weeks of the program the children will be prepared to transition into the upcoming school year.

The camp will be held at Allegro Academy located at The Shops on Steeles Ave East and 404, 2900 Steeles Ave East, Suite 217. Check our website for fees, preregistration and more information about our program.

* Camp Kennebec; 1-877-335-2114 (residence program, for youth)
* Kinark Outdoor Centre; 705-286-3555
* Camp Kirk; 416-782-3310
* Camp Kodiak; 905-569-7595
* Shadow Lake Centre - residential -, 905-640-6432
* New Strides Day Camp; 416-39-8533
* Bellwood Lodge & Camp (residential camp for ages 7 to seniors with mental challenges) 519-843-1211
* Camp Muskoka -
* Camp Robin Hood - - 416-736-4443

* Summer Programs through Geneva Centre for Autism
Galloway Summer Camp
Geneva Centre had partnered with East Metro Youth Services to offer "Galloway Summer Camp". The camp is in the east end (Galloway Road - Lawrence and Morningside area) and is for 12 - 24 year olds with ASD or developmental delay. It focuses on social skills, life skills, community access, and developing peer relationships. The Geneva Centre will provide one of their staff to offer the appropriate level of support for an individual with ASD to attend this camp. The cost for the camp is $120/week, and there is no additional cost for the Geneva Centre support worker. 
Bridges summer camp
There are still openeings for Bridges summer camp (ages 7 - 13), particularly in August. These are integration opportunities for kids to attend regular Parks and Rec programs at Brown (St. Clair and Avenue Road) or Hillcrest (Bathurst and Davenport) community centres. Geneva Centre provides a worker (and a volunteer, so there's essentially 1:1 support) and pays for the Parks and Rec program as well, so there's no cost to families.
For both of these programs contact Andrea Seater, Respite Servisor, at or 416-322-7877 x240.

* Camp Prospect in Barrie offers sleep-over camp experiences for children with special needs, including weekend offerings during the year. Call 705-735-0129 or email
* Pioneer Camp - integrated residential summer camp program with worker support -, 1-800-361-2267.
* Miles Nadal JCC - summer day camp and after school programs - 416-924-6211 x128,
* Camp Winston - residential camp for ind ividuals with ASD and other disabilities - 905-707-3427
* A Toronto-area group called DramaWay offers a summer drama camp in a variety of locations in Toronto. Visit them at their web site for more.
* Glenbrook Day Camp in Stouffville offers spots for special needs children in an integrated setting. The cost is reasonable and they have experience with kids with ASD. Visit www.glenbrookdaycamp.coom or call 905-640-2127.
* Markham's Camp Green Acres has an inclusion program to includ e chi ldren with special needs (including ASD and Asperger's) in their regular camp. The camp can offer 1:1 counselors. The program is headed by Randie Newman. For more, contact Randie at 416 -702-2695 or the camp itself at 905-887-1400.
* Reena offers a program for 13 - 21 year olds, with outings, games, arts and crafts - contact Gloria at 905-889-2690 x2116. Reena operates out of the Toby & Henry Battle Development Centre in Thornhill (Yonge, north of Steeles). They also offer summer programs in the south, in the Bathurst and Bloor area.
* YMCA camps are open to individuals with ASD who come with a worker from Reach for the Rainbow. 416-928-9622
* Ko-Ach Adventures is an "experiental outdoor initiative" focused on persons with special needs. I t aims to "promote healthy living and well-being while installing a sense of accomplis hment, pride and community among participants". Participants learn team building, canoing, swimming, map-reading, tent-construction and cooperation ski lls. The pro gram offers a 2:1 ratio. Contact Ko-Ach Adventures, 372 Sunnyside Avenue, Toronto, 416-763-6339 or

Today's Parent Toronto - Article on Special Needs Camps
Includes a listing of various PDD/Autism Specific Camps.

If you receive services from Toronto Community Living, you may be eligible for an aide to accompany your child to regular summer camp for two weeks. Check with your case worker.

Parks and Recreation in all four districts have an Adaptive and Integrated Services program that can, in many cases, provide a support worker for your child to attend Parks and Recreation day camps. Check your Parks and Recreation brochure for details.


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